Posted in Design School, Life

Sometimes, work gets in the way

No class for me today. I was too busy to get out of work and too busy take the night class. But, I’m not complaining. Quite frankly, I’m happy to be employed. I had a new roomie all lined up for this summer. But, she emailed me this week to say she had been let go from her job and was moving home.  Too bad about class though, today we were doing sleeves. Thursday promises skirts.

On an aside, in my free time, I’m a junior wedding photo assistant these days. My very talented friend from college became a full-time photographer after realizing that the world of journalism was in the tank. Check out her website (I took the photo below). Dude, it took me three years to figure out how to do a screen capture with a Mac. Do you ever think you have more computer than you need?


Joanns. Well, I called them (multiple times) and told them I had received 25 yards of muslin for a whopping $1.49. They told me to bring in the receipt the next time and they would make the correction. Thanks for the phone call suggestion!

Posted in Design School, sewing

Drafting a Basic Collar

So, here’s a quickie on drafting collars. I’m going to do my best here…


Above is my drafted collar. Darn, it’s labeled wrong. Ummm. Ok. Below is the draft on the fold.


From A down is the height of the collar.  Generally, collars are 3 inches tall. A down is the Center Back (shown a D in the first photo).

B to C in the first photo equals my total neck measurement. You get that that from measuring the neckline on the front and back of  your sloper / pattern
B to D is the center back to the shoulder

The roll line (in green) is half the width of the collar, tapering to ½ inch from the center front (C)
F is the point of the collar, and that extends past line C, the collar front,  by a minimum 1 inch.


To do the undercollar, just trim about 1/8 from the collar edge graduating to nothing in the corner.

You my friend, have a collar

I’m starting the last of the four ring quadrants on the Single Girl quilt! I have made two cutting mistakes during construction, but since I’m not a hardcore matchy matchy girl, I think it’ll all be ok.
This week I worked with the darker prints I got from More browns. I’m not sure yet if I’ll make all dark  (below) and all light circles (above), or mix the two together so each circle is half light and half dark. Either way, I’m like 1/8 of a yard short of each print to finish the final quadrant! That’s what I get for moving from a crib (4 circles) to a twin quilt (12) and just assuming the fabric would work out!


I didn’t have time to call Joanns today. I had to work for a few hours in the middle of the day. I’ll do it tomorrow. That was great advice. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me to call them!

Posted in Design School

A response

Hi Everyone,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for slogging through my long, long, typo-filled rant and your support. You know, this is my dream and it just sucked that it was going downhill.  I was so mad/embarassed/annoyed when I got back to work yesterday that I just poured it all out here. You are all truly great thinking minds. I took the most common advice and wrote to the instructor: 

From: Cidell
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 7:43 PM
To: Instructor
Subject: My apologies

I want to apologize for my outburst today. I’ve been very frustrated with the attitude of particular classmates and felt that today was exceptionally disruptive. We were not only in the middle of a quiz, but I felt that time was being taken away from class to deal with one student’s issue. And, this was something that was best discussed outside the classroom. My response did not help the situation and I just wanted to let you know from now on, I’m going to do better to keep my comments to myself.

From: Instructor
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 12:14 PM
To: Cidell
Subject: RE: My apologies

Don’t worry about that. After you left, I had to raise my voice (what I don’t like to do) and calm everyone down. I talked to some students and asked them to see me outside the class room, or during my office hours when they have an issues. I hope it would help.

I agree that it is very difficult to study in such a tense atmosphere…

Hope to see you on Thursday.

Do not give up on us!


So, my plan is to ignore the person. And, if this continues, I’m going to the department head. It’s not fair to me or anyone else for this to continue. I loved all the advice and will consider private tutoring next semester (or maybe over the summer when classes aren’t being offered) for draping if this kind of stuff continues. Life is too short. I took great relief in knowing I wasn’t the only one who had been through this.

But, I also took a moment to reflect on JudithNYC’s comment. It got me thinking about my behavior. Because maybe *I* come off as the ‘know it all’ in class. I do finish early. I do ask questions about things off the syllabus. It’s just something that occurred to me after reading this comment.

Again, thank you all!

Posted in Design School

Apparently, it’s 13th grade

 I’ve been slightly frustrated the last two weeks with my drafting class. While the teacher is knowledgeable, the class is moving at a slow pace. Not so slow that we aren’t on target, but slow enough that I’m able to work ahead in the book, do my homework and still leave over an hour early. It’s not that I’m brilliant, but I know how to sew, I’m all about getting an education and I have got work to do. Class isn’t social for me. It’s business.  

 One of the things I liked about my undergrad experience (do you like how I said that as though I had a graduate level experience, lol) is that people *wanted* to be in school. In high school, it seemed like half the people rather be somewhere else. Yet, here, people complain about, well, everything. They complain that we have homework. They complain that we have to sew for homework. They complain when they come in early to complete sewing assignments on the school’s machines, but don’t tell the teacher ahead of time so she isn’t there to help them. They complain that the class is ‘too fast’ but when we finish early they don’t stay for help or to do the homework that they inevitably won’t have the next class.  So, the next session, my class starts 20 minutes late while they are in the machine room finishing up homework due that day.

 You know what, I haven’t even gotten into the 30 mins of remedial math I sat through teaching folks how to read a freaking ruler (for the record, this is covered in fourth grade and again in 10th in the state of Maryland. I checked). That, is a post that I haven’t had the, tact, to write.

So, today, I had to take out my earrings and have it out with one particular student. Now, this is not my proudest moment. But, this 50 something classmate did her homework assignment wrong. We should have drafted and sewn princess seam front and back bodices. But, she only did the front. When she realized this, she got belligerent and accused the teacher of saying it wrong and not communicating effectively.  My awesome teacher gave the assignment correctly and it’s written in our syllabus. This insane woman was the only one out of 15 who got it wrong. She starts arguing with her during the middle of a quiz. And when I say arguing, I mean verbally badgering the instructor about telling her the wrong assignment and that she needs to communicate better.

The 13th graders in the class are just giggling away like it’s a stage production. After a few minutes of this, I turned around and pointed out that she was wasting my time and money and she needed to go to office hours instead of taking class time to work out her inability to listen. So, she starts yelling at me! I, of course, get completely out of pocket. Here I am leaving my job during the day to be here and actually learn something.  It was admittedly stupid to argue with her. I was giving her exactly what she wanted – attention.

Half the class was egging her on and half the class was egging me on. All of a sudden, I felt like I was on the set of Mean Girls.  Once the words ‘bougie’ came out her mouth,  I said screw it and left class. I was already done with the quiz and the first assignment and had worked ahead and completed the next assignment. And now, I’m just frustrated and annoyed. I’m letting her take all the fun out of the this for me. Because she’s like this EVERY. SINGLE. CLASS. Why should her foolishness dominate the class?

Awesome Leslie in Austin says I need to talk to the instructor. But, quite frankly, I think she’s a young Eastern European woman teaching a class of ethnically diverse women and is intimidated. This is the second time this woman and I have gone at it. I just have not done a good job of being the bigger person. 

Posted in Design School

Drafting Class: Day 2 (Dart Manipulation: Slash and Spread)

Before I go over today’s lesson, I don’t think I need to remind you that I’m a rank amateur. I just think it’s fun to share what I’m learning. I’ll try to do this at least once a week. It helps me remember what I learned and might demystify it for others. Plus, if I’m doing it wrong, then the whole blogosphere can let me know.

So, dart manipulation is something I’ve heard about dozens of time online, but never had a clue really about how to actually do it. Or why I would do it. Today, we learned how to do it with the slash and spread method.

There are six places you can place a dart. I can’t find my handout, so I’ve got this page scanned from my Japanese Pattern Drafting book (I rue the day I posted it, lol. I should have waited until I got all three volumes. I paid like $20 for mine and now they are going for over $100.) Here’s a PDF scan001

dartsOn the first page at the top, you can see the six locations identified for darts. Which all have names.


We start with the one dart bodice sloper and trace it onto pattern paper.


So, I want to move the lower dart to up to the neck (F)


First, I mark my bust point by putting the pattern paper on my sloper (it’s the purple asterisk)


Draw a line from the BP to the Center Neck.


Also, draw a line from the BP to to tip of the original dart.


Slice through both lines removing the section.


Rotate the original dart closed, but, don’t overlap at the waistline. Tape it down.

Congratulations my friend. You’ve moved a waist dart to the Center Front Neck.

We did this today for all the darts (click to enlarge and read what the dart is called)


After that, we worked on adding seam allowances to make this an actual pattern. 1/2 inch for straight lines and 1/4 inch for curves (on a full scale we would add 1 inch for straight lines and 1/2 inch for curves).


Next Tuesday we’ll be doing the pivot and slide method. At some point over the weekend I’ll make a point regarding seam allowances and the bust point. But, I’m sleeeepy 🙂